10/07/11 9:45 PM ET
Postgame interview with Ron Roenicke
By / MLB.com
Q. Just the way you won it.
RON ROENICKE: Yeah, it came down to Gomez, great at bat, great stolen base. Nyjer knew what he's done so many times this year, of course, gets that big hit when you need it.
But pitching, Yovani, outstanding. And boy, they battled. I mean, they got people on base against Frankie. They got people on base against Ax to tie it up. That's a great ballclub over there that they have.
Q. This is kind of a tribute to getting something from everybody on the roster victory, isn't it? You found a role for Gomez, he gets the game home winning run.
RON ROENICKE: Gomey, you're right, we put him in for defense, and he ends of offensively helping you. He's been swinging the bat well.
We got Rickie out of there and we put Counsell in there and you don't know if that at bat is going to come up and be important again. And fortunately, we scored there before we got to that spot. But, yeah, the bench, you know, contributing like they have all year.
Q. Did you ever feel like at a certain point that, you talk about breaks all the time, that this maybe wasn't your day because you had the 4th inning, Jerry has the deep fly ball, did you ever think that things are conspiring against us?
RON ROENICKE: A lot of times during the game today I was questioning what was going to happen because we did have that good opportunity there with the bases loaded. Hairston hitting that ball that Young made a great play on in center, you question that. Then you see the bloop that Burroughs gets, and you're kind of like, wow, what's going on here? And we hit a couple of other balls real hard to right field. Counsell starting off that inning with a bullet to right.
Q. Can you talk about what you're feeling right now, can you put it into words?
RON ROENICKE: I'm a little wet and cold (laughter).
We battle all year to get to the spot where we have the opportunity to come back here and get that home field advantage. I thought all along it was going to be a tough series. I didn't realize it was going to be this tough coming down to the last day.
But that's a team over there that doesn't give up. We're a team that doesn't give up. And I think to come through and keep battling back, even though some things didn't go maybe perfect today, but we knew it was going to be a close ballgame. And that one run is huge. They came back and got the one to tie it up.
We were fortunate to get...you know, really we're fortunate to get a run when we had bases loaded because the fly ball that Hairston hit it carries the 2nd baseman back to where Hill can't make a turn and run home.
Q. A lot of clubs [inaudible] your club didn't, what's different about that?
RON ROENICKE: It's the same thing with our club, they fought this way all year long. We won a lot of late ballgames, whether we're tied at the point or coming from behind. But they don't quit. They keep getting after it. And it has a lot to do with the makeup of the club. They're a bunch of guys that are dedicated to win at all costs, and I think you saw that in the game today.
Q. Did you have a chance to talk to Nyjer? Did you know which personality that was that came up with the big hit, was that Tony "Clutch"?
RON ROENICKE: Nyjer can't talk right now, he's emotional. He's just...he's a joy to have, I'll tell you. I don't care about all the little issues we have. This guy, I love him on this team. I like him as a really nice young man. He came through big, again, when we needed him.
Q. What do you do right now, do you celebrate a little bit or do you watch TV with the other game?
RON ROENICKE: I think we've done all our celebrating. I know I have. So, yeah, I'll sit back and watch what's going on with those games to see if we're staying here or we're going on the road tomorrow.
Q. Can you comment on Yovani's performance today?
RON ROENICKE: Yovani, from the first inning on, came out with a great fastball. I saw 94's, 95's, had a lot on it, not just velocity, but a lot of life on it. His slider, cutter, really good today. And then he threw some great curveballs when he needed to.
But that was a performance that we needed from one of our starters. We were real happy coming back here and having Yo starting this game. And he came through and pitched like we thought he would.
And then on the other end, Kennedy came through and pitched the way they thought he would, also. He was great again with his location and his change up. But that fastball location is outstanding.
Q. Can you just talk about, does the series, and having it go the way it did, having to battle all the way to the end, does that give you an edge as you move on to the Championship Series?
RON ROENICKE: Well, I think the edge is kind of how we played out the season, too. We played it out to the last day. So we haven't had a game where we can relax yet.
I couldn't comment on whether it helps us or not, because I don't know what that relaxed state is where you can sit back and maybe watch a couple of games. We haven't been in that position.
That's okay. I think this is a nice way to roll into the next series.
Q. 29 years since Milwaukee has seen winning playoff baseball. Do you take pride in that?
RON ROENICKE: I take a lot of pride in that. That's the part where you look at the city, you look at how they've been behind us. Even coming on the bus, we got in pretty early yesterday morning, and coming in and seeing the high rises with "Go Brewers" on it, or initials there. The way they come out and support these guys. The chatter that I hear all through the city. It's huge.
Anytime you have a city that backs a team like they've backed us, it's huge to be able to win. And going to that next round. We still have some work to do to get to that ultimate goal that we want. But this is great getting through this round and getting to the next one.
Q. Talk about how you didn't have to use Zack and it sets up where you can have him Sunday full strength?
RON ROENICKE: Yeah, Zack was warming up in the bullpen. He was probably going to come into that game next. So it was nice to get him a little bit of work. This was the day he needed to throw a bullpen. We held him off earlier in case we needed him tonight. He got a little work down in there. It's probably going to be right on schedule for him.
Postgame interview with Nyjer Morgan
Q. When you struck the game winning hit, which personality was that?
NYJER MORGAN: That was T. Plush, man, that was T. Plush all the way. Just doing tickling to the outfield.
Hats off to the D-backs. Their players in general, their coaching staff. They've got a heck of a team over there. Gibby has done a good job with that ballclub, with that young ballclub. And just hats off to those boys over there.
Q. T. Plush, can you just take us through when you got that hit, you saw it drop down?
NYJER MORGAN: I saw it drop down? It was clean up the middle, baby.
Q. Tell us about the emotions you felt.
NYJER MORGAN: As soon as I knew it, basically I was looking for a pitch up. Putz is a pretty solid pitcher. And I knew that he wasn't going to feature the split again, and he was going to challenge me.
Basically I just wanted to see the ball up, take it up the middle and just Gomez had a hell of an at bat just before that, even though Uncle Craig [Counsell] got a solid line drive, but it was an out. I had to let Gomez do what he had to do, burn second. I was looking for something up. And I had to calm my nerves down. So just slow my whole mind down and I got to it.
Q. How good does it feel considering the struggles you've gone through just this series?
NYJER MORGAN: What struggles? It's baseball, man.
Q. Coach said that you were very emotional.
NYJER MORGAN: Yeah.
Q. Everybody's pretty emotional?
NYJER MORGAN: Yeah.
Q. Describe those emotions for us?
NYJER MORGAN: I mean, it's a lot. Just everything that I've had to overcome. Just the stuff that people go out there and perceive about me. And just everything that...all my haters. I just wanted to show them that I can play this game. Even though I've got a fun, bubbly personality and everything like that, I still come to win and I'm a winner.
Q. How tough was the bottom of that?
NYJER MORGAN: It was solid, beautiful, beautiful.
Q. How do you celebrate this evening?
NYJER MORGAN: You know, just go home, you know, take a bath and chill out and watch the game (laughter). I can't tell you, player.
Q. I guess does it matter who you play next?
NYJER MORGAN: No, not really. I understand that this is a solid ball team that I'm playing with. We just...we're one complete unit. Like Ron said, always from the beginning of Spring Training, take care of each game and don't try to get ahead of yourself. Just be ready to come out and give it your all. And that's basically what this team is all about. We're in a blue collar town and we're definitely hard workers, and we bring our hard hats and our helmets every day.
Q. Having to battle all the way to the end again, does this give you an edge going into the next series?
NYJER MORGAN: We've just got to stay within ourselves. Everybody always has an edge, even whoever wins tonight's game, the Phillies or the Cardinals. Basically we've got to take it in and I guess win Sunday or whenever we play and just be ready to go again. Just treat it as a regular ballgame.
Q. Knowing that Axford had converted 44 straight, tough break there on the squeeze and the score. What was said in the dugout?
NYJER MORGAN: Nothing. Let's pick him up. We always pick each other up all year. That's why I've said we're a cohesive unit. Basically it shows right there. There's no quitting in the Brew Crew. It shows. We have our squad behind us.
We had the home field advantage, and the Keg was definitely rocking tonight. And basically we stuck together and we're a solid unit, man.
Postgame interview with Carlos Gomez
Q. When T. Plush got that hit, was that the hardest you ever ran?
CARLOS GOMEZ: I don't think so. As soon I get to second base, and the only thing I got on my mind, if he hit one on the ground or to the outfield, I thought just scoring on my run, nobody going to stop me. And I put my head down and definitely I'm going to score the run.
Q. Saw how pumped you were on getting the base hit to get there. Kind of came in as a defensive replacement. Everybody plays a part. And everybody plays a role. And tonight your role was to play only a couple of innings, but you come up big.
CARLOS GOMEZ: Basically, I'm prepared, always I come, before I come here like I'm going to start the game. Because it's not how you start, it's how you finish.
And like you say, I come as replacement. And I got an opportunity to get one at bat. And I tried to get on base. I tried to drive the ball and get on base. And these guys more comfortable to steal bases, and definitely I steal. And I know Nyj [Morgan] in those kind of moments, that person he'd be like so big. And he'd be more concentrated. And I know and I feel that and I had that feeling before and I know he going to drive me in.
Q. You've taken a part time role here and really done well with it, how does that work for you?
CARLOS GOMEZ: I'm the kind of guy, like, I like to win, I love winning, I don't like loss. I don't feel comfortable with myself, because I got an opportunity to play every day, and I started the season really struggling. Nyj did a really good job against righties and have some time to play and he keep playing, and I play against lefty. And I take it that way and come here every day today like I going to start a game.
I do a great job, if I get a lefty, and Nyj do it against righty. And that's my job. And that make the team stronger. And I don't want to be only play for the lefty in my career, because right now I'm 25 years old. I want to have the opportunity to be an everyday centerfielder. When that come, right now that's the job I have and I have to keep it like that.
Q. You and Nyjer have been cast off by other teams, how sweet is it for both of you to be involved in such an important play?
CARLOS GOMEZ: When Nyjer got traded over here in Spring Training, it's like my GM say, Doug Melvin, we are a great team. But we needed the best player in the team. And Nyj, he's the kind of guy that can help with the energy, the one they bring every day to the ballpark. And if he starts, I'm on the bench. When I start, he's on the bench. And we have everything to be a winning team.
Q. After you scored I think it was your owner that jumped into your arms first. Were you surprised that Mark jumped into your arms, did you expect that from any kind of owner?
CARLOS GOMEZ: You have to be smart, you have to get to the boss first (laughter), and then your teammates. Mark, he's right there when I score, and the first guy I see is him. I give him a big hug and I say thank you for bringing me over here and giving me a second year on the team. And that's what I say, all my teammates were pushing for me. It's a special moment.
After I score the run, I feel something in my chest I never feel before, like so excited and so good. I'm not lying to you, I cry a little bit because I'm emotional.
Q. You scored the winning run in the tie breaker game in Minneapolis two years ago. How does that winning run compare to that?
CARLOS GOMEZ: When I get to the plate, when I walk to the plate, I go like real mean, real concentrated. Because I had that feeling before when I walk in 2009 for Minnesota. I come like the same situation, defensive replacement. I got the opportunity to get an at bat and I got the base hit and I get on second and I'm the scoring run.
And as soon as I get in that situation, like today, I come and I say, it's your time right now, to do your job. And I said thank you, God, for giving me the opportunity to do my job again.
Q. You really played well in the last couple of weeks. Has anything changed since you kind of came back? Have you been doing anything different?
CARLOS GOMEZ: Yes, I always come here, every day, work with my hitting coach. But, you know, I'm working the last five years. I don't want to disrespect nobody, but it's the time to change, I be around in that game for five years, and everybody tell me, hit the ball on the ground, hit a line drive and run. And for five years I do this. And it don't work. And I tell myself and I told my coaches, my manager, like, it is time to change.
I feel like when I go to the plate and try to take the approach and try to hit a low home run to centerfield, I'll be a great hitter. That's what I tried to do the last couple of weeks, try to hit a home run to centerfield, and that's why I've been so successful at the plate.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.